The FSDB Deaf Robotics team recently participated at Florida SkillsUSA in Jacksonville. Team members Geoffrey Porter (11th grade) and Elijah Roberson (10th grade) competed in the Mobile Robotics contest against seven teams in their division and came in fourth place! They are coached by Monica Cambron and Jenny Shellhorn.
There were multiple levels of skills in the competition: professional development, writing an engineers' book, learning the modified game skill for driving and programming, passing the professional test, and being fully prepared for an interview with an explanation of the robot design they created. Next came the robot inspection, followed by an autonomous drive. This drive is 15 seconds of coded driving instructions where the robot moves and scores points without hands-on driving. The final test is remote control driving through the VEX Robotics V5 game for 2021-22.
"Students performed amazingly!" said Ms. Cambron. "They even caught the eye of another team that knows the level of knowledge needed to compete. That team was amazed our students could pass the interview and compete so well. It was quite an honor for another team to send such high praise for skills our students demonstrated!"
This is the fourth year FSDB has had a Robotics team and the first year for Geoffrey and Elijah. The team has already started planning and designing for next year's challenge. The goal for next year is to grow the team in both middle and high school.
Watch Geoffrey and Elijah driving their robot through the VEX course.
About the Robotics Club
The Robotics Club promotes STEM educational initiatives and career awareness for deaf/hard of hearing students by partnering with VEX and REC Foundation. Students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, soft skills, self-advocacy, collaboration, planning/organization, and self-management skills. Every year, a new challenge is released by VEX for student teams to design a robot. Students meet twice a week to build, code, and practice with their robots to prepare for the competitions. A prototype robot is completed by winter break, then fine-tuned to gear up for the competition typically held in February.
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school in historic St. Augustine, available to eligible pre-K and K-12 stud